Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Review: The Macgregor's Daughter by Dee Julian

The Macgregor's Daughter by Dee Julian
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Publish Date: June 23, 2009
Ebook,  178 pages

My Review:
Romance, daily life, intrigue, pirates, kings, dogs, horses and so much more.  This book has it all and packages it in a thrilling and romantic read.

Moving from the castle to England and back, this is an exciting book.  I loved the development of the characters of Dreya and Lucian and also Edwina who really livens the book up.  I liked the view of everyday life, it worked nicely against the excitement that was building and added to the story very nicely, giving another dimension of what life was like for Dreya.  This book gets you from the very beginning and I was always trying to figure out what would happen next.  Then the events unfolded and I was so caught up I lost track of time (and I was on the treadmill so that's saying something).  The romance has great tension, you can tell these two like each other, but they don't want to.  It has a sensual side to it, but stays on the sweet side which I can appreciate in a romance.  But you can feel the heat between these two and that makes it a great romance.

I haven't read much from this time period, but really liked it for a change from the typical historical romances.  Set towards the end of the American Revolution, but in England and Scotland was very interesting, though that part was mostly a backdrop for the story and setup for the events to come.

The addition of the Scottish brogue was a little difficult to read at first, but don't let that turn you off.  It eventually becomes second nature and I appreciated it because it really helped me discern the different characters better.  It was like hearing their voices in  my head and I enjoyed it.

So when it is all said and done, The Macgregor's Daughter is an excellent historical romance.  Lots of intrigue and excitement are in this one as well as well-developed characters.  It's an enjoyable read from start to finish and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Julian's books in the future.

Rating:  4.75/5.0

About the Book:
In 1776 England, American born Anadreya Macgregor is branded a spy by the arrogant Marquis of Canderlay. Despite her pleas of innocence, he refuses to listen and has her imprisoned. Aided by the Scottish father she never knew, Dreya escapes to Dragon's Breath Castle.

Five years later, the laird is missing and a badly injured Frenchman washes ashore. Dreya is wary of the blind and amnesic man, though something about him is hauntingly familiar. Is he an ally or a ruthless mercenary who stumbled upon her father's smuggling activities?

The stranger's vision and memory gradually return and Dreya discovers her fate and the continued existence of her clan might very well be in his hands. As the web of deception binding them together unravels, both are in danger of losing everything. Including their hearts.

About the Author:
Dee Julian lives in Memphis, TN with her husband, two children, and four dogs. A typical Virgo, she is passionate about everything she does. She is currently working on her second historical romance entitled Promise Me.

Visit Dee Julian's webpage.
See The Macgregor's Daughter trailer.

FTC Information: I received this book from the author for review.  

Purchase The Macgregor's Daughter by Dee Julian here

See this post for an interview with the author and information about the giveaway.  Remember if you post a comment on this review post you get extra entries for the giveaway.


Author Interview and Giveaway with Dee Julian (The Macgregor's Daughter)

Today starts off my author spotlight week and today the spotlight is on:

Dee Julian, author of The Macgregor's Daughter

Please join me in welcoming Dee Julian to My Reading Room today.  She is the author of The Macgregor's Daughter, which I will review later today. It is a wonderful historical romance (and check out the gorgeous cover).  Dee is also giving away two copies of the ebook of The Macgregor's Daughter, see the end of the interview for details.

How did you find out your book The Macgregor's Daughter was going to be published?

I received an email from the submissions editor of Wild Child Publishing with the word “congratulations” in the subject line. Needless to say, it got my attention.

How did you celebrate when you found out you would be published?

By emailing EVERYONE. Then my husband and I shared a romantic yet unhealthy Italian dinner and a bottle of wine.

Without giving anything away - what is The Macgregor's Daughter about?

The story centers around Dreya… a young American woman of illegitimate birth who has no idea she was born on the wrong side of the blanket until she meets her real father, a Scottish laird. And Lucian…an English nobleman who owes the king a huge debt due to his late father’s fondness for the gaming tables. Settling that debt can only be attained by proving Dreya’s father has committed treason. To do that, Lucian must pretend to be a French corsaire. When his plans run into foul weather and nasty pirates, Lucian ends up adrift in a cold sea, temporarily blinded with few memories of who he really is. Needless to say, when Dreya and Lucian finally discover they’ve shared a brief but disastrous past, fireworks explode between them.

Where did the idea for The Macgregor's Daughter come from?

Purely from my imagination. I had the basic idea, and it just blossomed as I wrote.

Since this is a historical romance, did you love history when you were in school, or is this a recent love?

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I yawned through most history classes. If I had only  known I would grow up to be  an historical romance writer, I would’ve paid more attention. J

What is your favorite historical time period?

Although I like to set my stories between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, my favorite period would have to be the Victorian Era, which my second historical is set in. Life was just a tad less harsh for women then. 

I have to say that this is one of the first historical romances I have read during this time period and I found it fascinating.  I know very little about this time period in Scotland/England/France, but I obviously know what was going on in the US.  What made you choose this time period?

I needed a strong conflict between hero and heroine, and being on opposite sides of the Revolutionary War fit the storyline perfectly.

How much research did you have to do to write the Scottish accent/brogue into your work?

Not too much, really. I learned most of the Scottish dialect through many years of reading highlander books. To be honest, Crystal, I didn’t think it was necessary for my secondary characters to speak with such a heavy brogue, but my editor felt it would add authenticity to the book. I didn’t know I could negotiate the matter.

Do you plan your books out or do you just write and see where it takes you?

I tried to plot the storyline for both my books, like my wonderfully talented critique partner does, but I got sidetracked with other ideas. Both books started out differently and both ended differently than I’d originally planned. In fact, they’re not even close to the original ideas. Still, I think they’re very good stories, but I’m slightly biased. J

Do you get time to read? What are your favorite types of books to read?

Sadly, I don’t have much time to read anymore, but when I do…I grab a favorite historical from Jill Tattersall. One I’ve read a hundred times or more. Or…I’ll go buy an interesting paranormal. I’d love to write in that genre, but I’m just not that creative.

What is your favorite room in your house?

I’d have to say my bedroom, because I can lock everyone else out.

What is your favorite spot to read in?

My patio in the afternoon.

What is your favorite snack food?

Lightly seasoned popcorn.

What is your favorite season?

No contest. Fall.

Do you have a schedule for writing each day or do you just do it when you can?

I have a schedule, but I rarely stick to it. Life, as they say, gets in the way. So I just make sure I write for a few hours at least five days a week.

Where do you do the majority of your writing?

In the solitude of my bedroom, when everyone else in the house is asleep.

Did you find writing The Macgregor's Daughter to be difficult or did the book just take off with no problems?

A little of both. For instance, I had so much fun getting into the secondary characters’ heads that I usually wrote their scenes in a day or less with little or no changes. On the other hand, Dreya and Lucian were much more complicated characters who were held to a code of honor and ethics. I had to really think through each and every scene. At times I got the dreaded writer’s block, but I eventually figured things out.

Any book signings/conferences/public/blog appearances in the near future?

Not currently, but I’ve never been able to predict the future, so who knows? 

Do you have a new book in the works?

Yes. It’s an historical romance entitled: Promise Me. It’s set in 1866 England. No Scottish dialect. Here’s a short preview:

When a hasty promise to her dying fiancé jeopardizes the future of his illegitimate child, Lady Leah Sheridan vows to make amends for the gentleman’s lack of honor by personally seeing to his son’s financial needs. One year later, the boy’s heartless mother abandons him. As Leah finds herself nearing a disastrous scandal, her fiancé’s older brother returns to England demanding answers she swore never to divulge. Will Leah break her promise and confide in the only man who can keep her safe?
Anything else you would like to say?

Yes. I would like to thank you, Crystal, for all you do to help writers promote their books. You and your valuable time are greatly appreciated. And thanks for the interview. It was fun. I look forward to reading your review of The Macgregor’s Daughter.

Thank you so much Dee Julian for taking time out of your busy day to answer my questions!


Dee Julian is being very gracious and giving away two copies of her novel, The Macgregor's Daughter in ebook format to two commenters.  Giveaway ends 6/28.  Open internationally.  Simply comment to enter.  Extra entries for following (rss, twitter, google friend, email, networked blogs, etc - all information to follow is in my sidebar), tweeting (1 per day) and I'll give 5 extra entries if you comment on the review which will post mid-afternoon.  Comment for each entry please (it makes bookkeeping easier), except for the comment on the review - just comment once and I will add up your entries.

Winner drawing note:  I randomize your entries before picking a random number so it doesn't matter if you are first commenter or last, everyone's chances should be fairly equal.

What are you Reading Monday - June 21

Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books and join in!

Books Completed Last Week 
    Reading Now:
    • The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker (review)
    • Dangerous by Diana Palmer (Kindle, review)
    • The MacGregor's Daughter by Dee Julian (ebook, review)
    • Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah (audiobook) 
    • The 9th Judgment by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro (library)
    • I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown
    • The Passage by Justin Cronin
    Summary -
    Great reading week - I got hooked on the Private series again over the weekend and read books 3&4 in two days.  Now I'm ready to start book 5, but since I actually own that one, it will take a back burner.  I also finished up my latest audiobook and it was a great one.  I did a library book week last week, so it's back to review books this week.  Look for my author interviews, guest posts, and some reviews coming this week for my author spotlight week.